Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 6.2

Posted by harmony0stars on April 28, 2010

The Sybar City Museum of History was the largest collection of ancient and modern history on the East coast. It was one of three museums bordering Central Park, its sisters being the Metropolitan Museum of  Arts and the Children’s Museum which was more of an amusement park with antique rides than an actual gallery. The area in and around Central Park had once been the cultural center of all of Sybar City, though the focus had since moved a bit south. There were several old ruins swallowed up by the small forest that blanketed the Park. Glory had avoided these former centers when she was homeless, knowing that when the nastier teen gangs went looking for trouble, they went there. It was also common knowledge that the authorities turned a blind eye. After all, the homeless weren’t much of a scenic draw for tourists.

It did strike Glory as odd that the history museum had not been hit yet, but she had a feeling that Lori was currently out of the country. Perhaps she’d left soon after Glory went to ground and hadn’t been back since. Glory really had no idea and trying to get into her sister’s head was a losing proposition. It was like trying to figure out weather patterns, and calling her a sociopath was more of a dismissal of her motivations than an understanding of them.

Some instinct, perhaps her tattoos bolstering her intuition, told her that Lori would return to Sybar City. Now that she had two children in her care, Glory couldn‘t afford to wait for Lori to turn her attention back in her direction. At best, she could only assume it was a temporary reprieve. Worse, she couldn’t even say for sure that it was Lori robbing the museums. She could only go on what the ghouls had told her.

So she haunted the Museum, familiarizing herself with the displays. There had been something of a pattern to the newspaper clippings, even with the small amount of detail she’d been able to add. She had no idea what had been taken and therefore still no idea why, but the thefts seemed to focus on African, Middle Eastern, and Polynesian relics. Maybe that was the pattern the ghouls had noticed. Maybe in the long memory of their race, they knew something about these cultures that she did not.

By Friday, she’d exhausted all of the displays on the three public floors of the museum. Everyone knew there were two floors below street level however, offices, storage, and research, but only curators and interns were allowed access to those. While there were a few items handily displayed in locked cases which any thief of occult artifacts might target, without knowing what had been taken elsewhere, Glory could only guess at what they might want. This only irked her further. After all, if her sister was using her book, shouldn’t she have some inkling of what Lori might be after? She had a sinking feeling that either Lori had found someone to advise her who knew more about ancient artifacts than Glory did, or that the thief had nothing to do with her sister. Maybe Glory had lucked out, and her sister had managed to kill herself with one of Glory’s shadier theories. That Lori might have found a teacher wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility though. Glory was well aware that her lack of a formal education had limited her access to information that, for all she knew, might be readily available to more legitimate, and less ethical, scholars.

It was almost enough to make her gather all her clippings and head to Miskatonic, not that she was so naïve. She was absolutely certain she couldn’t trust Professor Scott. Whatever his agenda, it seemed he wasn’t above sacrificing his own people, even his own family, to reach his goals. She reminded herself to call him, though she’d been meaning to since she’d arrived back home. So long as he though she was still considering his offer to join his organization, an organization he had not even named, she might still have some breathing room. And even if it meant alerting him to whatever her sister was seeking, perhaps his people would get more respect and therefore more answers from the curators as fellow academia. It was in the back of her head that doing so would only give Scott more weapons to persecute innocent people however.

Before she went and tipped her hand to the xenophobic bigot and his band of sycophants, Glory was determined to at least make a thorough catalog of anything Lori might find interesting at the Museum. So after tucking Edgar into bed on Friday night and asking Robert to make sure the boy got breakfast in the morning, Glory headed back to the museum. Robert looked as if he wanted to ask what was going on, but after a moment, closed his mouth and gave a curt nod before closing his bedroom door in her face. She hoped she could get into the offices below the Museum without setting off an alarm and spend the night looking through their storage files. Whatever the thief was looking for, she had no doubt that it would be something she’d be interested in as well.

The museum emptied of people, and Glory waited while the day security made their rounds, checking to be sure all the guests had left before two custodians and the night guard took over. She watched as the crews said their farewells to one another before the much smaller night shift locked up behind them, following the guards back to a room paneled with TVs. Now that the museum was closed, they kept the door propped open, though only one man watched the monitors while his fellow guards made their rounds. It was very nostalgic of Scott’s setup under MU though much more casual. There was a camera which panned down a hall of offices, a few lights still on there as researchers and administrators wrapped up their work. Thankfully there were also a handful of cameras showing the storage area, but most of the feed came from the museum itself.

As she watched, the guard in charge of the cameras fiddled with a wire, and one of the TVs showing various exits switched to a sitcom. He then took out a massive, meat laden sub, obscuring another two screens with the wrapper. Shaking her head, she started to leave for the offices but caught movement on one of the screens. She quickly counted the guards and custodians on the other screens before returning to the first, but now there was nothing. Maybe it had just been the tick of the screen shifting to another perspective or a reflection as the guard laid into dinner, but she hurried from the room. It wasn’t as if she didn’t have all night to see to her business in the rooms below. She could afford to stop by the room on her way to the offices. Besides some of the offices were still occupied, and the room that had caught her eye was dedicated to the Pharaohs. If something was going on, she’d kick herself later for not checking it out.

to Book 6, page 3

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